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LSU Tigers

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southeastern (1932-present)
Past Conferences: Southern
City: Baton Rouge, La.
Stadium: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
NCAA Tournaments: 24 (1953, 1954, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2022)

Championships

National Championships: None
Conference Tournament Titles: 1 (1980)
Conference Regular Season Titles: 11 (1935, 1953, 1954, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1991, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2019)

Team History

The LSU Tigers are a Division I team based in Baton Rouge, La. LSU has been a member of the Southeastern Conference since the league’s inception in 1932.

LSU has made the NCAA Tournament 24 times, including 10 consecutive trips from 1984-93. The Tigers won two SEC titles during that stretch thanks in part to the presence of Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal was one of the most dominant centers to ever play in college, a two-time First Team All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year. In 1991, O’Neal was named Associated Press Player of the Year after averaging 27.6 points, an NCAA-best 14.7 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game. The Tigers went 20-10, including 13-5 in SEC play, and won their first conference championship in six years. They fizzled out in the postseason though, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to UConn, 79-62.

The following season, O’Neal led the nation in blocks at 5.2 per game and claimed his second straight SEC Player of the Year award. The Tigers didn’t defend their conference title, but they did return to the Big Dance and make the round of 32.O’Neal entered the NBA Draft later that year and was taken first overall by the Orlando Magic.

LSU also made the NCAA Tournament in 1993 but went seven years before its next trip, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2000 thanks to All-American and Co-SEC Player of the Year Stromile Swift. The Tigers went 28-6, earning the second-most wins in program history behind the 1980-81 Final Four team, which was 31-5.

Besides 1981, LSU also made the Final Four in 1953, 1986 and 2006. In all four instances, the Tigers lost the national semifinal.

The 2006 team, which went 27-9 and won the SEC regular season title, was powered by SEC Player of the Year Glen “Big Baby” Davis. A sophomore, Davis averaged 18.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

LSU also won the SEC in 2009 under first-year coach Trent Johnson, then repeated that feat in 2019 behind Will Wade. The Tigers reached the regional semifinals in 2019, losing 80-63 to No. 2 seed Michigan State.

Their most recent tournament appearance was in 2022, when they went 22-12 and lost to 59-54 to No. 11 seed Iowa State in the opening round. Wade was fired just days before that game after the school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA that accused the fifth-year coach of significant misconduct, including making cash payments to a recruit. Wade was replaced during the offseason by Matt McMahon, the reigning Ohio Valley Coach of the Year from Murray State. McMahon took over a team with modest postseason odds, as LSU was picked to finish eighth in the 2022-23 SEC preseason media poll.

LSU has also made eight appearances in the National Invitational Tournament, with a semifinal appearance in 1970. The Tigers’ last trip to the consolation event was in 2018.
Notably, LSU has produced a rich pipeline to the NBA, with Hall of Famers “Pistol” Pete Maravich and Bob Pettit and 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons among its alumni. Maravich — a three-time All-American and two-time National College Player of the Year — is regarded as one of the greatest college players ever, having scored an NCAA-record 3,667 points as a Tiger. He accomplished that in just three seasons too, as the NCAA prohibited first-year players from competing at varsity level at that time. Maravich also played before the advent of the 3-point line, which obviously limited his ability to score more.

Maravich’s number is currently retired by LSU, along with those of O’Neal, Pettit, Rudy Macklin and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

LSU Tigers All Time Records

Points Scored

Pete Maravich: 3,667
Rudy Macklin: 2,078
Tasmin Mitchell: 1,989

Rebounds

Rudy Macklin: 1,276
Shaquille O’Neal: 1,217
Al Sanders: 1,168

Assists

Torris Bright: 544
Ethan Martin: 520
Garrett Temple: 482

Who is the winningest coach in LSU program history?

Dale Brown won a program-record 448 games from 1973-97. The Tigers made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances and four Final Fours under Brown, including in 1981 when he was named the National Coach of the Year. Brown was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

How many NBA first-round picks has LSU produced?

Florida has produced 25 All-Americans, with the most recent honorees coming in 2014: Scott Wilbekin (AP third team), Casey Prather (AP honorable mention) and Patric Young (AP honorable mention).

What is the worst season in LSU program history?

LSU has had 17 players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The most recent example is Tari Eason, who was taken 17th overall in 2022 by the Houston Rockets. In his lone season with the Tigers after transferring from Cincinnati, Eason averaged 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals and was named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year

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